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T & L Update

Monthly update from Assistant Superintendent to district faculty and staff.

Spotlight for September 17, 2020

Friday, September 25th is the first District Professional Development Day, which will run from 8:00AM - 3:00PM.  Based on feedback from staff, the buildings, and the Professional Development and Evaluation Committee (PDEC), the day will primarily focus on technology with the following exceptions.  Classroom teachers and administrators at RBS will be participating in the first full day of the Writers Workshop training; Preschool teachers and paraeducators will be trained in the Connecticut Documentation and Observation for Teaching System (CT DOTS); and a PMT Refresher Training for those individuals required to renew their certification for this school year.  The technology offers will be a combination of 90 minute sessions and three hour sessions led by both internal and external presenters in addition to self-paced modules for certain software programs.  There will be a blend of required and choice sessions.  Each participant is asked to select five (5) sessions of interest from the professional learning opportunities listed in the PD Catalog (which also includes the required trainings), by 8:00AM on Tuesday, September 22.  This information will be used to assign participants to their sessions.  

All teachers, paraeducators, intervention tutors, teaching assistants, and administrators need to submit the form linked below (including presenters).
Link to Professional Development Catalog for Certified Staff

Link to Professional Development Catalog for Non-Certified Staff


The Clever portal is now active for all staff and students as their homepage.  When you click on your home icon, you will need to sign in with Google to activate your portal.  This portal serves as a one stop shop for district applications utilized by staff and students on a daily basis.  Some applications will automatically sync your login information if you are rostered into a program through Clever.  Other applications such as World Book, library databases, SIRS Discoverer, and Learn 360, may ask for the school's generic login.  It will then remember this information for future access.  The following video will give you some information regarding this teacher/staff portal and how to add resources to your library.    Clever Teacher Training Video. .  Please remember to refer to the LearnPlatform to make sure it is an approved resource to use with our students' information.  A great application to try to add on your classroom page is Khan Academy.  Although it cannot be pushed out from the district level, teachers can add it to their classroom homepage for their students to use.  Please share this exciting news with your classes and tell them to click on their home icon in the upper left hand corner of their screen to access the portal.  In addition, there is a PD offering next Friday to become a certified Clever user.  The Avon Clever Portal link is:
The district has purchased a license and is in the process of transitioning to a Google Enterprise for Education account for all users.  Google Enterprise provides users with premium features for the G Suite for Education platform.  Some of the premium features within the Enterprise account include the use of unlimited originality reports to foster authentic thinking as well as enhanced video collaboration tools for Google Meet such as blurred backgrounds, 7x7 grid view, and break rooms which should be available at the end of the month.

The Avon Public Schools 2020-2021 Common Assessment Calendars: Elementary Assessment Calendar and Secondary Assessment Calendar are linked here for your reference.

The State of Connecticut now requires the district to report student enrollment and attendance on a monthly basis.  To assist with this reporting, the following attendance codes have been added to PowerSchool. RP: Remote Present; RAB: Remote Excused Absence; and RUAB: Remote Unexcused Absence.  Starting with attendance on Monday, September 21st, students that will be participating remotely either as a fully remote student or as a member of the remote learning cohort group for that day, will be pre-populated in PowerSchool as Remote Present.  The expectation will be that the teacher mark the student as Remote Absent if the student does not complete the requirement to be considered in attendance on that date.  The system will now allow teachers to modify attendance up to one day after the date in question.  It is critical that attendance is completed for all students.

Remote Learning Reference Links
APS Website - Blueprint for Reopening 2020-2021
Avon LearnPlatform - list of approved software/subscriptions/resources
Remote Learning Resources for Teachers and Staff - tutorials & helpful hints for remote learning
Remote Technical Training and Support form - request form for specific training & “how to”
Remote Learning Resource Request Form - request form for software or website approval    
Understanding Copyright - a quick teacher & student guide for creativity and copyright
Publishers Adapt Policies to Help Educators- publishers & requirements for recording read alouds
IT Ticket System - request form for hardware and software issues

Spotlight for September 4, 2020

There are a few new additions and changes in terms of instructional technology for 2020-2021.  The following link will take you to a one page newsletter regarding these items including virtual office hour schedule with Elizabeth Ferry, a tutorial on how to split your screen to two displays, generic student account information  and other resources that will assist you with the use of technology for this school year:  Instructional Technology Update - September 4, 2020

Google Password Strengths - Google has made recent changes to their requirements for passwords.  Please note that if you reset a student’s password in Hapara, you must have at least eight characters, including a letter, a number and a symbol.  The technology department has received numerous tickets regarding student passwords reset through Hapara since they did not have the required set of characters. 

Just a reminder to everyone to pay attention to copyright when posting assignments, articles, books, videos, or any other item that would be considered copyrighted material.

  • Do not post videos of others reading stories if they are not the author or publisher
  • Do not post or share lessons or documents from Teachers Pay Teachers if you do not have licenses for all of your students or colleagues
  • Pay close attention to any items that you are posting to Google Classroom that might be photocopies of articles or books, as they most likely are copyrighted material
  • Make sure that the images you use are approved for use and indicate the source of your images (use sites like Pixabay, Creative Commons, Youtube video - How to Use Google Images Without Copyright, etc.)

If a teacher would like to record themselves reading a book, they should refer to the following list of publishers and the requirements in order to do so: Publishers Adapt Policies to Help Educators.  Please note that any publisher listed with an asterisk (*) has updated their policies for the 2020-2021 school year.  As additional publishers update their policies this list will reflect those changes.  

When emailing the publishers the required information, please copy your building library media specialist on the email so they can keep a list of books requested.  If the publisher is not listed on the above link, please reach out to your librarian for further assistance with contacting the specific publisher.  Also, even though many publishers are asking to be tagged in social media posts, it is highly recommended by the district that we do not tag publishers on social media as this is not a requirement but a suggestion. Please use the following link to better understand copyright Understanding Copyright.

Reference Links

Spotlight for August 24, 2020

Welcome back!  Hope that everyone was able to find some time to rest and rejuvenate over the summer and that you are ready to embark on the new school year, whatever that may end up looking like as we move forward.  Listed below are a few updates as we begin the year.

A Professional Development Schedule for this week has been developed to provide everyone with the necessary time to complete the mandated trainings; participate in grade level/department professional development sessions to discuss Google Classroom and Meet configurations and best practices, as well as computer connections for hybrid instruction; and to engage in curriculum mapping and lesson planning.  

Further training will be offered in the near future regarding new technology resources for the 2020-2021 school year.  For a sneak preview, please view the following website:  APS Technology PD 2020-2021.  We also encourage all staff to continue to visit the LearnPlatform to view the approved technology resources for the district:  Avon LearnPlatform.  As additional resources are requested and reviewed, the list will be updated. 

Over the course of the summer the District website was updated.  Please check out the Blueprint for Reopening 2020-21 link where you will find the Superintendent’s Communications, Reopening Documents, School Schedules, Technology and Instructional Resources for students and parents, COVID-19 Resources, etc.  If you have any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions for additional resources please let us know so that we can continue to enhance the site. 

Changes were made over the summer to the technology work order system and the copiers and printers.  All staff recently received emails regarding these changes.  The information can also be found in the following document:   IT Updates 2020-2021 (Work Order System and Printers).  Additionally, we just recently received notification that the chromebooks slated to be delivered mid-August will not arrive until late September.  We are currently revising the chromebook distribution plan and will provide further information to the buildings as soon as that is finalized.  And finally, the cables required to reconfigure some of the SmartBoards should be arriving today and then installation will begin.

At the June Board of Education meeting Policy 6146, Graduation Requirements, was revised and adopted.  The overall changes include an increase in the number of credits from 22.5 to 25 required to graduate; the addition of a 1.0 health and safety education credit; and a .5 mastery based learning credit which will provide various options and pathways (e.g., internship, service learning, work experience, community service, student designed independent study, college experience) for our students.  These graduation requirements begin with the class of 2023.  Click here to access the Board of Education  policies, where Policy 6146 is located

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